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Life beyond ISA: University Prep

At ISA, we empower our students to take charge of their own learning and explore their individual interests and skills. So, when it comes to university preparation, we begin the foundations of exploring careers and subjects from an early age.

From Grade 8, we to begin to look at high school subjects and the university courses and careers they may lead too.

This process continues in Grade 9, where students have the opportunity to participate in The Morrisby Careers programme. This programme aims to give students an insight into career possibilities based on aspirations and priorities. After completion of two questionnaires, students are presented with suggested careers that align with their profile, many of which they may never have considered before.

Time is then spent using the career search facility to look at related careers and other suggestions of possible pathways that the students can add to their ‘favourites list’.

In Grade 10, the High School (HS) Counsellor, along with an independent Career Advisor, conducts a set of psychometric Morrisby assessments profiling all 10th graders and following up with personal interviews to discuss the report. Following the interviews, the HS Counsellor runs a number of small group workshops where students use their comprehensive Morrisby report to begin their university course research.

If students are considering pathways other than IB, these are also explored at this point, for example, going to college, moving to another school, local or international. At this stage we focus on specific courses and entry requirements for university, specifically what IB subjects they need to take.

The HS Counsellor and students look carefully at subject specific requirements for HL courses and the overall points expected. Individual meetings are set up with each student to discuss preferences, which in turn determines their subject choices for the following school year. If a student is uncertain, the course choices will focus on current interests that allow for many university course options.

A university information evening is also hosted for parents at the beginning of Grade 11. We open the year with individual goals meetings with our counsellor to ensure course options line up with previously discussed university course choices. A University & Admissions Overview presentation in October kick-starts the university research which is continued in small group workshops late November.

Morrisby follow-up interviews take place in October or take the form of a sign-up Careers Clinic. Students create a long list of universities by February and individual family meetings are held in February and March to discuss student career possibilities and how these line up with the possible university course choices. The application process timeline (predicts, references, personal statement, open days) is discussed with each family and conversations are based on the unique needs of each student. The goal for each student is to find and apply to the universities and colleges that best match that individual student.

In Grade 12 students receive further guidance from the HS counsellor with the entire university application process for whichever countries they are applying to, as well as any support or advice when communicating with universities. There is a university information evening arranged at the beginning of the school year so that parents are well informed about the application process. The HS counsellor supports students when they receive their exam results and ensures that each student is happy with their university placement.

Heather Barker, our HS Counsellor who supports and nurtures our students throughout the process comments:

“I am here to support the students in every way possible when it comes to their career and university journey. It is an exciting time for the students but can also be quite daunting as we go through the application process and hear back from universities. I provide social, emotional as well as academic support throughout. I really enjoy being able to spend time with these students at such an important time in their lives – I am with them all the way to the finish line!”.

We are extremely proud of the continued learning journeys our students take following ISA and this year was no exception. The graduating Class of 2022 have secured university offers from some of the best educational establishments around the world – check out the video below.

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International Baccalaureate Council of International Schools Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Cambridge International Examinations CNED